You know the drill. Go on vacation and come back to a pile of bills, Pennysavers, and 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons. Oh and a stack of magazines to go on the backlog of things to catch up on reading.

This time though was different. Hiding in the stack were three plain white envelopes. Guess which backlog I tackled first.

The first two envelopes were from Peter and Colbey—a pair who featured in an earlier post about a couple of PWEs. They’re both the type of collectors who enjoy ripping packs but like to spread around the cards they find which don’t immediately fit their collections. This is a bit of work but is probably much preferable to letting unwanted inventory build up in closets and bookshelves.

Anyway, Peter took part in National Baseball Card Day and pulled an Evan Longoria in one of his packs. This is great since neither of my kids managed to pull one—Trout, Alonso, and Kershaw yes, Longoria no—and now I’m halfway there to getting them super happy about their hauls.

Colbey on the other hand ripped a bunch of Diamond Kings and sent me all his Giants. Or, well his only Giant. I like this set and the way it feels. I’m not certain I’ll ever be able to tell different years apart.

It’s cool to have one though since it’s a product I don’t think I’ve ever noticed for sale. Yes it feels wonderful to hold and riffle through a stack.But at the end of the day there just weren’t enough Giants in the checklist to get my attention. I’m very glad people like Colbey exist so I can share in the experience.

As fun as those two envelopes were they were kind of blown out of the water by Lanny, whose local shop is apparently specializing in beat-to-hell Willie Mays cards at “you’d be a fool to pass this up” prices.

In Lanny’s words, these are “not that great.” I so, so beg to differ. They’re mighty beat up but again, in that well-loved way of being the card that some kid always wanted on top of his stack so he could show it to whoever’s attention he could commandeer.

And there’s nothing horrid missing. The biggest problem is that the chewed corners on the 1958 look like they might continue to lose material every time I look at the card. The cyan background though is much better than red which dominates the rest of the Giants cards and I love seeing just the hint of the SF logo which I can tell is the incorrect one but it’s not as obvious as it is on most of the 1958 cards.

The 1963 is arguably rougher in that the entire surface is sort of worn. But enough shows through and the blue/green photo background and the red/yellow graphics are still vibrant enough to pop.

The best part of the 1963 card though is the back. Yes the 1958 cartoon is a lot of fun but the 1963 back shows his full Minor League experience. All my other Mays cards only show his Major League experience because they’re from the late 1960s and Topps was having trouble getting all of that on as it was.

Seeing the Minor League stats is cool. Having that Trenton line though is extra cool and gives my kids yet another tangible reason for them to rationalize rooting for Trenton while staying Giants fans. Their eyes lit up when seeing the front of the card. Then I turned it over and they got even more excited.

Super cool and yeah, while summer’s over I very much appreciate the way it ended this year.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

4 thoughts on “👀”

  1. As much as I value “condition” on most of my latest vintage card purchases… there’s something special about an old card with lots of “character”. Both of those Mays cards are fantastic!

  2. Awesome Mays cards! Personally, I kind of my like old vintage cards to look well-loved like that! They have more character that way and oh the stories they could tell if only they could talk!

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